Republican Presidential Jon Huntsman is hoping for an “aha” moment in New Hampshire. The Boston Globe recently endorsed Huntsman over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and the mainstream media has been a fan of Huntsman since he entered the race.
To be sure, when Chris Matthews started endorsing a Republican, the conservative reaction would be to turn away in obvious disgust.
If Matthews likes him, he has to be terrible – remember this is the same guy who gets tingles in his leg when our soon-to-be-former President speaks.
Back in December, the New York Times outlined a potential path, albeit improbable, for Huntsman to win the GOP nomination.
The goal was for Romney to have a poor showing in Iowa, have some of the more conservative candidates do well and then surprise people in New Hampshire to become the new “moderate” candidate.
We can argue about whether or not the Republicans should be nominating a moderate candidate, rather than force-feeding the nation with card-carrying conservative, but I’ve said from the very first debate I watched, Jon Huntsman is the most electable candidate in the field.
I couldn’t understand why he didn’t have more support from mainstream Americans.
He believes in evolution and global climate change, but is a religious man, a fiscal conservative and has more foreign policy chops than any candidate in the field, including President Obama.
Why Huntsman never ran as a fiscal conservative governor is beyond me.
He signed the largest tax cut in state history as governor of Utah, saving $400 million. Since 2004, when Huntsman was elected, he has had a balanced budget in Utah and tripled the state’s contingency funds.
In fact, the Pew Center called Utah the most well-run state in America.
Huntsman was on Reagan’s White House staff and was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce under George H.W. Bush.
You want chops as a fiscal conservative? This guy has them.
His tax plan, which he claims is revenue-neutral, eliminates all deductions and credits. In their place will be three lower rates of 8%, 14% and 23%.
He wants to cut corporate rates 10% and eliminate – yes eliminate, as in make disappear – the capitol gains tax.
Remember, he’s also been a diplomat in China, not to mention worked in Singapore as an ambassador in the early 1990’s.
America’s relationship with China is perhaps more important than any social or non-fiscal issue out there. To understand and communicate amicably with the world’s fastest-growing superpower will be of utmost importance as the U.S. attempts to scratch and claw its way out of the worst recession in a century.
Conservatives want to crucify him because he called Barack Obama a “remarkable leader.”
Everyone is allowed a misjudgment every now and then, and to be fair, that was his boss, what was he supposed to say?
The first step of the New York Times’ plan for Huntsman to win the nomination, a poor outing in Iowa for Romney, didn’t happen.
Perhaps Romney’s ascension to the front-runner position will mean an unweatherable storm of criticism both from the other candidate and the Republican talking heads who seem to hate him. The voice of criticism may reach the point where another candidate can swoop in for moderate and independent votes.
I do believe though, a slight change in framing for Huntsman (and this is totally on his campaign) could really garner him conservative support, particularly those who view financial responsibility in government as a priority.
The problem right now is people simply don’t know enough about him.
If he can stay in the race long enough for people to see what he’s really about and see what he’s done, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for him to make a late charge.
It starts in New Hampshire today.